A DRUG user who blew cannabis smoke into a child’s face has avoided a prison sentence.
Austin Jobling exhaled the drug fumes into the direction of the youngster, who was just two at the time.
Jobling, a former heroin and crack cocaine addict, frequently smoked cannabis as a way of coping with his withdrawal symptoms from class A drugs, Newcastle Crown Court heard.
The 33-year-old, of Shakespeare Street, Southwick, has a string of previous convictions including burglary and common assault.
He pleaded guilty at an earlier hearing to two charges of cruelty to a child in relation to the incident on March 2 last year.
At the same hearing, Amy Scott, 23, of Galashiels Square, Grindon, admitted three charges of cruelty to the same victim.
Both appeared at court for sentencing yesterday.
The court heard that after medical examinations the child was found to have a considerable amount of the chemical tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in its system.
Katherine Dunn, defending Jobling, said he had experienced a troubled childhood and had used cannabis after overcoming heroin and crack cocaine addiction.
She said Jobling’s actions towards the child had been as a result of his “immaturity”.
Jobling and Scott were sentenced to 45 weeks in prison, suspended for two years, with two years’ supervision.
Judge Paul Sloan QC told Jobling: “This could have caused serious risk to the child’s health.”